Master finisher Jasprit Bumrah took 3-12 from four overs as India beat New Zealand by seven runs in the fifth Twenty20 cricket international Sunday to sweep the five-match series 5-0.
The third and fourth matches were also New Zealand’s to win before India forced them into Super Overs then snatched victory in the tie-breakers.
New Zealand seemed even more well-placed to win on Sunday when Ross Taylor and Tim Seifert made half centuries in a 99-run partnership for the fourth wicket to put the home team in a commanding position.
Taylor made 53 in his 100th Twenty20 international as he moved closer to the milestone of becoming the first cricketer to play 100 matches in all three formats.
Seifert made his second consecutive half century after his 57 in the second match at Wellington which also lifted New Zealand to the brink of victory in that match.
But his dismissal for 50 in the 13th over Sunday signaled the beginning of the end for New Zealand.
Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner and Scott Kugeleijn followed quickly and when Taylor was out to the first ball of the 18th over, New Zealand’s hopes of a drought-breaking victory had ended.
New Zealand needed 24 off the last two overs and 20 from the last, far beyond the abilities of its tail-enders.
Ish Sodhi hit two sixes in the final over, bowled by Shadul Thakur, but New Zealand couldn’t reach its winning target.
“The match got close at one point but we had the belief in ourselves that we could squeeze in one or two good overs and the match could get close,” Bumrah said. “It was windy and we were trying to use the wind, use the longer side of the boundary and we had good communication out there.”